It is the afternoon of the 11th of August.  I just want to make this clear that inspiration can come at any time any moment and from unexpected places.

This past few days we have had the joy of having #2 Grandson and his dad visiting.  It is bittersweet for this author as it may be the last time for many months that we see either of them.  Saying good-bye was tricky smiling and waving and wanting to cry and not doing it to keep everyone strong and happy.

On our first day here, we stopped to get some groceries where we saw a homeless man in the median. I mentioned how I was hoping he would be there when we came out and on our side of the road so I could give him some money.  Sadly he was gone when we left.  We saw him once again and before we could get back to his spot again he was gone.

The conversation at different times this last few days has been on homeless people and people who are hurt.  Our grandson asked about the scar on my neck.  I told him I had had surgery to which he responded it really upset him when family had surgeries.  He said he also was upset by homelessness too in the same conversation saying he could watch scary things on TV and they did not upset him as much as those two things.  Interesting conversations.

This morning our son showed us a video of a man giving a sleeping Homeless man $100 bill.  The camera then followed the Homeless man as he went and bought a sleeping bag and a pillow and few sundries at Target.  The Homeless man came back to the bench where the “Giver” of the $100 bill was sitting.  Since the Homeless man was sleeping he had no idea who his benefactor was.  The two men on the bench began talking and the “Giver” shared how his daughter needed medicine and he could not afford to buy it.  The “Giver” was really going on and on as the Homeless man stood holding his bags and listened.  Then the Homeless man asked the “Giver” to watch his back pack for a bit if he was going to be there awhile.  The “Giver” said sure he had no place to go.  The Homeless man returned empty handed and gave the “Giver” a $100 for the medicine for his daughter.  Imagine it.  At this point the man told the Homeless man that he was a videographer posting on the web and that his act of kindness had been recorded.  He said he was going to publish this video and gave the Homeless man $500 for his generosity.  The video ended with the Homeless man in tears and thankful.

My three guys, the boyfriend, the son and #2 Grandson are on their way to the Zoo today.  I am cleaning for an upcoming Open House.  Truth be told Zoos are not a favorite.  I do not go into the Reptile House and a few other places so why go???  The boys will have a ball.

An aside here………Grandson #2 lost a tooth last night and the tooth fairy found him even though he was not in his own bed.  He could not understand that as he thought he had this tooth fairy thing all scoped out.  She left him $2.

As the three guys arrived at the Zoo I got a phone call from our son – a proud father at this point.  He said, “You will not believe what your Grandson did.”  It seems they were stopped at an intersection with all the windows down.  Those three do not believe in air-conditioning like I do!

At this intersection was a homeless woman with a sign.  Before the men in the front knew it Grandson #2 in the back seat handed his tooth fairy money to the lady.  What a special moment for them all.

Lesson – you never know what your children pick up from you.  Live well, Laugh often and Love much! You never know who is watching.





I love the mountains.
I love the rolling hills.
I love the flowers.
I love the daffodils.
I love the fireside.
When all the lights are low.

I found the lyrics to the song to the children’s song “I Love the Mountains” simply for the two lines about flowers.  I am more of an ocean gal though I do love flowers with daffodils being one of my favorites.  I love gardening so long as someone else waters and weeds. I can plan up a storm.  At one of our homes I took part of our back yard and created a lunar garden, a rose garden and had a fence filled with hollyhocks.  Sadly I did not stay there long enough to see the hollyhocks bloom.  The lunar garden was pretty all white in the light of the silvery moon.  Oh my another song reference – I am lyrical this morning as chaos reigns around me.002

We are in the process of a couple of moves and one will take the majority of our plants.  I did not realize how many plants I actually had until I lined them all up to see if per chance these gentlemen would transport them.  I know there are no guarantees of life for the greenery though if it can survive me it can survive anything!

I really should not have plants.  I forget to water them and rarely feed them.  Dusting them is unheard of though I vow to be better with each time I do give them any nourishment.  They all know I lie.

005Our very first Easter my husband gave me a dish garden.  I still have the mother-in-law tongue and spider plant from that which makes them over 47 years old.  (Spider plant is the one on the left)I treasure them and sadly do not treat them as such. Luckily both are low maintenance.  I should not have plants!  At least I am not a plant killer.  Despite my lack of attention they seem to thrive.

Today they are all being boxed up to go on yet another journey.  They have traveled in many forms and now in boxes which is probably the nicer way for them to go.  We usually just load them up in a car or back of a truck.  I will be anxious to see how their journey ends.  Hopefully I will not have too many lost.  If so then I will just search out friends with similar plants and root them again.

That is the most fun of plants with me – the sharing.  When we leave a place of late we have given shoots from the spider plant to friends.  It is healthy for the plant as it gets pruned and fun for us as we leave a little of us with friends.  That is something I did not even speak about in the care of plants – the pruning.

Just like in life we need to step back and examine our own lives and clear out unnecessary distractions, plants need to be snip of the dead leaves.  On occasion plants need to be repotted for their health.  On occasion, we too need to move on to other interests and even be  transplanted for a job.  In the end this is all healthy for both of us.  I keep telling myself this to justify the lack of attention I give the greenery that so lovingly surrounds me.

As I finish this little exploration into the art, or lack of, the care of houseplants it occurs to me that I may have the strongest plants in the world.  Perhaps they stay strong to keep me strong.  Could it be that despite my attention they are growing as they know I am happier with them around.  Could the plants be looking after me?

That is a real “Little Shop of Horrors” thought yet much more comforting then Audrey II ever was.  My plants feed my soul! I must make a stronger effort in the next incarnation of their lives to take better care of them.  I will try!




In the early afternoon.

I received a letter from a friend of mine recently asking why I had not blogged on the most recent political situations.  Those that have read this blog for awhile know that I was very opinionated in 2012.  After that for that matter as the changes taking place in our government were not met with much enthusiasm by some.

Today I have chosen to answer this one terrific fan with a blog.

I did not blog the whole month of February.  This was not from not having anything to say.  It was from my own lack of organization and not keeping passwords in one place.  I had forgotten my password to this blog and could not get into it to post.  I have spent the better part of an hour now trying to figure out how to get back here.  I had to come a back way through my other blog that I set up specifically for political posts.  The lesson here Dear Readers is to have all your passwords be the same or to keep them all in a convenient place.

This brought back to mine a dear friend who passed away all too early.  I remember her daughter telling me that they went in to take care of her business and found a little piece of paper that had all her user names and coordinating passwords written down.  She said it was easy to get things completed with this one piece of paper.  You have to know that I have now my own ‘one piece of paper’ with all my passwords to gmail and yahoo and aol and comcast and our banks and credit cards all written down.  The banks are in a bit of a code so hoping whoever is left can figure them out.

The title above is a reference to our #1 grandson who used to run into our house with his arms open wide and say “Grandmama I found you!” complete with the big hug.  That feeling of joy and happiness was exactly what I felt when I got into my blog.  It was a coming home for which I was very grateful.

To answer my fan, I have not blogged about the political agenda as the last time I was cast out by too many friends and relatives.   I am getting too old and cannot afford to offend many other people if I still want to have friends.

To my fan – In addition, I believe I am going to have my say. When I do it will be on my other blog so people not of my political persuasion and not caring about what I think or hearing any opposing views to their own need not view it.   My other blog is cornersoapbox.wordpress.com.

I am now off to lunch feeling very accomplished and satisfied with the toils of this mornings adventures and writing.  I leave a quote………”I’ll be back.”




This is the first Father’s Day without my father on this earth. He graduated to heaven last November.  While I was rarely with him on Father’s Day, thankfully I was last year.  Other years there was always the call and gift though I have to admit the gift might have arrived late.  My timeliness is a joke in my family.

I have ever been a ‘Daddy’s Girl’.  I was proud of my father.  I wanted him to be proud of me.  I wanted to please him.  For much of my life I used his values as being the measurement for all of my choices.  He was a faith filled man who believed in loving his fellow man.  For years he helped out his best friend who had MS.  There was a team of 4 men who would get Don up out of bed and put him back in bed every day and Daddy was part of this.  He was a camp counselor for teens at our church camp and beloved by the letters I have found since he left us.  As I said in the eulogy, Daddy, like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life”,  was the richest man in town if you count the love of his family and friends of which he had many.

In the eulogy I gave, I said that Daddy’s legacy would be written by those who knew him.  It would be different for each and every one of them as well.  A friend of mine remembers him as a neighbor and patriot and took the time when he could to stop and visit.  One of the last times Johnny visited he gave Daddy a coin, they are called “Challenge Coins” I believe.  My father was thrilled with this small gift from one serviceman to another.  Another friend will remember him from the golf course and ever being on it.  And another from having him as a boss.  Another from being in a Bible Study with him.  His pastor remembered him for his being well dressed and chiding Pastor Brown about preaching without wearing a tie.

Today I briefly mourn the lack of a father.  I say briefly as my joy of being his child is so much more prevalent in my heart.

Being who I am and loving my father, as the only constant parent (my mother and step-mother both died) I had, I imagined that when he died I would be bereft. I imagined myself keening like women do in other countries as they wail in that high pitch tone.  I imagined that I would go through a dark depression and barely be able to function let alone live a normal life.  Little or none of that has happened.  My mourning the loss of my father’s being has transcended into the joy of being blessed to have been his daughter.  I am amazed at what is going on with me. I am thankful to God.

Do not get me wrong, Daddy was no saint.  I long since have managed many of my own values and measurements. He was still the best father in the world for me and I think my siblings.  If any negative emotion is stirring in my soul it is the jealousy I have for my siblings having had so much more of his time as they were living in town and I have been away since I was 21.  This emotion rarely comes as I chose my life from the foundation that my father helped create.  He led me to believe I could do anything and go anywhere.  I have and I did.

So on this day I honor the man who gave me the best gift I could ever want – him as my father.  He gave me the gift of learning, the gift of gab, the gift of loving our neighbors, the gift of faith, the gift of loving marriage, the gift of family and ultimately the gift of hope.

The last time I spoke with my father was the Wednesday before he left on Sunday to attend the Big Church.  He had called to ask about a scripture. I told him I thought he was not right and then said let me go to the internet.  While we were chatting I checked the web and in fact his thoughts were spot on.  I was not really surprised. I learned something new again.  Our last words were “I Love you Daddy” followed by an “I love you too”.  Does it get any better than that?

Happy Father’s Day Honest Les!





This aging woman has a list that is a mile long this Saturday.  The eclectic personality is in full force and focus cannot be found.  My mind is racing from idea to item to project so much so that the vision of a Tasmanian Devil does not do this chaos justice.  The simple thing for me is to write it down and get it out of my head and on to paper.

When I decided to do this I heard “Saturday morning coming down” as a song in my head.  I checked as it did not sound right and it was not.  The song is “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down”.  Amazingly when I listened to it, the song did not sound like what I was singing in my thoughts.  The song was written by Kris Kristofferson while he lived in Nashville.  Trivia insert from songfacts.com.

“Kris Kristofferson wrote this song while living in a run-down tenement in Nashville when he was working as a janitor for Columbia Records – a strange occupation considering he had a master’s degree from Oxford University and risen to the rank of captain in the US Army. But Kristofferson wanted to be a songwriter, so he turned down a professor position at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and swept floors at Columbia waiting for his break.”

Ray Stevens recorded the original song in 1969.  It was a #1 hit in September 1970 and Kris first #1 as a writer.  Johnny Cash included it on one of his albums.  It still is not the song I am hearing in my head despite that the words match.  Oh well………..

My random thought of the week has been that I am going to declare tomorrow the Ides of March and more importantly our first grandson’s 15th birthday the beginning my own personal NEW YEAR.  So many thoughts in this one sentence.

First, tomorrow on March 15th our sweet kind loving first born grandchild will turn 15 on the 15th.  His years equal the date.  It does not seem possible that this beautiful little boy has become a wonderful young man so quickly.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that he was running into our home and saying with his arms stretched out wide, “Grandmama, I found you!” followed by a huge hug.   The fact is that this loving action happened over 4000 days ago.  Lesson to make the most of each day and tell those that we love that we love them. I love you Beau and Happy 15th Birthday Dear Grandson.

Speaking of birthdays as I was, on the other end of the spectrum Friday the 13th was my sister, Jo’s birthday.  She was born in March of 1950.  The story was ever told by Daddy that he was afraid he would not be able to get up the hill that took us out of town to get to the hospital due to a March blizzard in Maine.  He did and the doctor came out and told him that he had another Princess and Paula Joyce became Daddy’s second daughter.

I struggle with birthday gift ideas and am usually late and ever so thankful that Amazon can help me so I can direct ship and be on time. So last week I started thinking what I was going to get my sister for her birthday.   She has recently changed her eating patterns to live a healthy life.  She no longer drinks diet soda and has taken up coffee as her morning beverage.  As clever as I am not I went to Amazon and put in ‘coffee gifts’.  Up came a multitude of choices.  I settled on an environmentally safe French Press coffee pot.  I loved that idea and wanted to augment it with some new coffee.  As I looked there were different flavors.  I thought a collection would be fun.  There were many well outside the budget I had envisioned.  Then as if out of the ether came a package of coffee simply called “Jo”. No brainer as that is what I call my sister.  The plus is that “Jo” coffee is also environmentally friendly being a member of the Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade USA which she will love.  There is another gift on its way which has not yet arrived so not mentioning right here except to say the name Jo is also included.

The thing about my siblings is that I try to think of one gift in March and send it to all as their days arrive.  So this year I have to think of gifts of Susan and Bill if I continue the theme.  Susie Qs by Hostess Cupcakes would work or Black-eyed Susan seeds for my younger sister.  I put “Susan” into the Amazon search line and am proud to say the gift for her will work wonderfully.

Next is brother Bill.  I put “Bill” into the search line at Amazon and up came some Bill’s Cargo pants.  At between $100- $150 a pair they are well within my brother’s excellent tastes and way out of my budget.  The thought came that I could simply send him ‘my bills for payment’.   The search continues.

When is NEW YEAR.  We celebrate January 1 each year.  The Chinese celebrate on the new moon of the first lunar month which usually falls sometime between January 21st and February 21st.  Vietnamese and Tibetan’s New Year is similar yet the Tibetans cane flow into March.  the Aztecs use February 23rd.  India, some areas,  and Iran celebrate in March. Nepal is April. Nigeria has a New Year festival in June.  So it is arbitrary I believe.  Favorite quote time.

From the movie “Good Will Hunting”:

Skylar: Maybe we could go out for coffee sometime?
Will: Great, or maybe we could go somewhere and just eat a bunch of caramels.
Skylar: What?
Will: When you think about it, it’s just as arbitrary as drinking coffee.

Since I will already be celebrating a birthday on the 15th and St. Patrick’s Day is the 17th, I am declaring March 16th as my New Year this year.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Not to be forgotten today March 14, 2015 is a once in a lifetime day.  Pi, which is the spelling of a lower Greek letter used for the mathematical symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, is 3.14159265359.  So today 3-14-15 at 9:26AM/PM we have the opportunity to celebrate something.  Not sure what exactly.  Our celebration of this occurrence is that we have opted to forego our regular Saturday night dinner of beans and franks for a ‘Pizza Pie’! Works for me.  Maybe I will actually get to cross some things off my to-do list since I will not have to cook!




I awoke this morning at 5:33AM after a full night’s sleep.  Last I knew it was 11:30PM.  I did not wake in the night.  This may be normal to others – for me not so much!  I awoke with my mind racing from thought to thought.  I tried to calm my brain and relax.  I lay there for the next hour plus meditating thinking reviewing and planning.  It was quite simply unusual that I slept let alone woke with energy of sorts.  Is this how 2014 is going to end?  Unusually?  That will be interesting if nothing else.

Tonight we are going to Raclette for dinner again.  A tradition started last year when my sister gave us the grill for Christmas.  Our guests all enjoyed it and we had such fun.  Three of them were 13 and under and up for anything!  Tonight after raclette we will finish our game of Monopoly and then watch a movie which has yet to be selected.  A quiet evening so not sure what the unusual will be.

Wait a minute – perhaps I will be winning the lottery.  Yesterday playing scrabble with friends on facebook I got three Bingos.  A Bingo in scrabble is when you use all seven of your letters as one word.  I am not the greatest scrabble player and am still on the learning curve.  For me to get one Bingo is unusual.  Three in one day is outrageous.  With that in mind I am going to buy a lottery ticket today!  Maybe a powerball as well.  I am going to encourage my boyfriend to do the same.  His luck has been outrageous too.

For Christmas the grandson in residence this year asked for a Pokemon Monopoly Game.  Of course Grandmama got it though did not opt for the one that was for sale for $149.  Seriously that game sold for $149.  Have no idea what was in it.  We got a lesser priced version.

This game is the same as the original with the exception that the properties have Pokemon related names and the pieces as well are shaped like Pokemon players.  I am currently using Pikachu.  Whoever or whatever  that really is in the game I have no idea.   I normally play as the thimble so the shape is different.  My two favorite spots of Baltic and Mediterranean are now Geodude and Onyx.   Perhaps you know these better than I.  To me they are still Baltic and Mediterranean with brown bands and different names.

I have loved playing Monopoly all my life.  My BFFs and I would play it for hours even if there were only 2 of us.  We used a house rule that any fees or taxes would go into Free Parking and if you land on it you get those funds as a windfall.  Well it seems our kids have stepped this up and the bank ponies up a $500 bill to fund Free Parking each time it is taken.  One could easily make a political comment about the funding of our Nanny state here yet I will refrain for any lengthy diatribes.  I complain about this funding each time we start and play anyway as I said I love to play Monopoly and board games in general actually.

Our first game playing this new version we were 4 around the table.  The Free Parking was funded and off we went.  Free Parking was taken in that game approximately 10 times.  We lost count though all agree it was 9 or 10.  Of those ten times, my boyfriend got it 7 at least.  It was bizarre.  He won the game.  Something he has rarely done.  Even when we played alone together I usually won.

Last night we began game #2.  Free Parking was funded and off we went yet again.  My boyfriend took Free Parking 6 of the 7 times it was won.  Two of those time were consecutive.  Not ever in all my days playing this game have I seen such luck.  The game was put on hold for bedtime for the 10 yr old.  We will finish it tonight and it is anyone’s game actually even though the Free Parking Impresario has over $3000 from winning it so many times.   I suggested my boyfriend buy a lottery ticket also.

To finish up the year a few comments on older posts.  I was the Willow tree.  The contradiction here was that I, as scattered as a Willow tree, am a fanatic about a straight un-mangled tube of toothpaste.  I am not a squeezer.  My tube is straight and clean and the boyfriend mangles!

I also heard from many cat lovers that toilet paper in their households necessarily has to come up from the bottom.  If it comes out from over the top then it is a toy not a necessary bathroom item!  I bow to their wisdom.

Thus ends 2014 and many will say what a year it was.  I make no judgments about that.  I will look back on occasion to this year with smiles and tears.  I will look forward to 2015 with angst and hope for what is to come.

As I was lying in bed this morning in a meditative state of sorts I thought I am thankful for the smiles and tears, the joy and sorrow and look forward ever to what comes tomorrow.

…………as you sing your “Auld Ang Syne” remember it is about  friendship and health and good will and that  I have already wished that for/to you and yours this day…..may 2015 bring you your heart’s desires.  It is promised to us in the book I read in Psalm 37:4.




Funny little four letter word.   As a noun it denotes a mark or stain, flaw, blemish on your person or character or reputation.   As an action it can denote recognition or in the case of sports to stand-by.  We can add the word to and you have to blemish, to sully, to locate to name a few actions.  As an idiom we often say “that hits the spot”.

How many of you have called “I get shot-gun” to claim your spot in a car?  If you watch the comedy, “The Big Bang Theory”, you know a character Sheldon has “his spot”. A spot can be euphoric as from Zelda Fitzgerald when in the movie “Zelda” she told F. Scott that she liked the “spot” where his shoulder cupped her head as she lay in his arms.  She referred to it as “my spot”.  The scene was probably taken from the actual quote:

“My dear, I think of you always and at night I build myself a warm nest of things I remember and float in your sweetness till morning.” ― Zelda Fitzgerald

Inanimate objects can have spots as well.  I often tell people when I move that I do not rush to place furniture as I wait for each piece to find its favorite spot.  While a bit eccentric of me, of course, it works.  The furniture which used to walk all the time years ago now seems to be very happy where it sits unless holidays or other seasonal occasions disrupt it – i.e. a better vantage at a breeze.

Plants are the same.  They require a wee bit more attention and yet they often find places that they thrive and grow the best.  For me that is pure happenstance.  I have no green thumb.  If you remember I wrote a  blog about watering my plants only when the peace lily is wilting or on Water Wednesdays whichever came first.

DCF 1.0A few years back my sister gave me three shoots of a plant.  I had admired it in her house and wanted a plant like it with slim plain green leaves that was NOT a spider plant.  IMG_0378I have no idea what it is and did not know it flowered. Though I think she said hers did which surprised her as well.  For the longest time this plant was three long leaves in the plastic cup in which she gave it until I finally transplanted it.  Now there are multiple leaves and most recently a flower  of sorts.  IMG_0379This plant has found its spot for sure. I found out the name as well.  My sister said it is called “Queen’s Tear” and there will be more to the flower.  What fun to watch.


IMG_0381The same with my Christmas Cactus that I have not ever moved.  It is so happy it blooms at Easter sometimes and this year started it’s blooming at Thanksgiving.  May have to rename it to be a Holiday Plant as it is all encompassing.

Do you have a special “spot”? I did.  I thought I would be anywhere but Maine as I escaped to go to school and get out of the stuffy town that was my home.  I have spent the rest of my life trying to get back.  Each place I have lived has been a special “spot” for me for the time I was there.  I was able to find joy and happiness every place I have lived.  I have remained opened to the possibilities of life creating “spots” as I needed.  There are multiple spots for me.

There is nothing like it for me when I drive north across the Kittery Bridge in Kittery, Maine.  It is less happy going south.  Crossing the Trenton Bridge onto Mount Desert Island brings peace.  Leaving another mindset.  Walking through the door at 141 Tremont brings a smile to my face each time I enter.  On occasion I have stopped and called the builder to thank him for believing in my dream when no one else did.  Sitting at our table filled with family is a favorite spot.    I am with Zelda in that my husband’s shoulders are a favored spot.

As I am finishing up these thoughts on this tiny four lettered word, it comes to me that perhaps the most needed “spot” of all is peace within our hearts.  If we have that then the world of special spots can be anywhere can it not?




I am betting that I have more than once spoken about how quiet this building is once the grandchildren have left.  Today is no different.  The last ‘package’ was delivered yesterday.  Yesterday afternoon I did not accomplish much and did not excoriate myself for that lack of performance!  Today is another day.

Our annual “Grandcamp” was held early this year.  We have a busy end of July first of August schedule so we had to make alternative plans for the funfest with our three grandchildren.  June was the month and a fun time it was.  We had the two olders with us for the whole month and the youngest joined us the last week for camp.  He is here regularly as he only lives 2 hours away.  The others we only see a couple of times a year.

Our time this year consisted of swimming everyday rain or shine.  We had crafts and art and archery and incorporated some USA geography and state history to round out the agenda.  Of course we tie-dyed shirts which is a favorite.  A trip to the Zoo was the kick-off.  Movies and board games every night ended up fun as well.  We played Life and Monopoly.  Since the children are older we introduced them to RISK.  The 9yr old beat us twice!!!  It was a great week.

This morning I awoke to quiet which I have done every morning as the older they are the longer they stay up at night the later they sleep in the morning.  This morning I made my bed and got dressed for the day.  During Grandcamp I simply got up, went to the office, stayed in my robe until swimming time which was between 10 and 11 each morning.

During Grandcamp at about 9 the parade of hugs would begin.  It was interesting to see who would awake first.  Each day it was different as they seemed to take turns amazingly.  Each of them came into the office where I usually was sitting.  Each one gave me a morning hug with an ‘I love you Grandmama’.  Can you imagine a better way to start the day?  I cannot.

This morning I got my coffee and sat at the desk and waited.  Alas this morning there was no ‘Pele’ screaming around the corner with my hug.  No ‘Katniss’ slipping in quietly for a squeeze.  ‘Steve Jobs’ was absent with his large hugs – he has become taller than the Grandmama!

Even as we delivered each child back to their parents I knew this morning was coming.  What I failed to remember was that the quiet can be so deafening.

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence. (1)

So perhaps it is time now to “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk”!!!(2)  I think I need to make a list to restock the pantry and clean the house!!!


(1) http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/simongarfunkel/thesoundofsilence.html

(2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp_bM_c-BT0



Much was made of the current resident of the White House making a mistake when he tried to repeat the Aretha Franklin song after a concert earlier this month. (1) I am not so sure he did flub it as I thought he did say the ‘e’ before the ‘s’ and not going to argue the point nor is this a political post. I save those for the Corner Soapbox.

What this is about is kids and respect. I had the opportunity yesterday while visiting with my 97 year old aunt and her daughter, my cousin, to speak about some of my very little cousins. We were sharing how we have such wonderfully well-behaved little ones in our family. These particular children are full of respect and it is refreshing with what is happening in the world as a whole. Or perhaps to be more to the point what we see through the media of our world. I am convinced that most children in our world are respectful yet we see the worst on TV. Smart mouthed and disrespectful to all.

This topic brings me a bit further as I contemplate the issue of respect. I saw the following on facebook – posted by our own son. He is correct had he not shown respect to his elders he would STILL be grounded.

If I had spoken to my parents the way some children do now,

I wouldn’t be here to share this status.

Some children need to learn the meaning of respect.

Share this if you agree.

When does respect end? The answer of course is NEVER. We are to, according to the book I read, “Honor our Father and Mother” and “Love One Another” and “Do unto others as you would have done to you”.   Perhaps that last is the most important and what is being instilled into the well-behaved in our world. That was surely drummed into me. I was not to be mean to my friends as I did not want them to be mean to me.

I suppose you could look at that as self-centered yet I believe it is other-centered as you are putting goodness out into the world without a thought of the return. The general belief would be that if you put out good that the same would return. What if it doesn’t? For me I do not worry or care as I know I have done my part. I have sown seeds of kindness and will reap goodness. Those who sow seeds of bitterness or uncaring or thoughtlessness will also reap a harvest and I am thinking it might be a harvest of bitter fruit.

As I watched my cousin care for my aunt and I helped in getting her to the car as well, I am pleased and happy. These feelings come from a couple of places. One of course that my aunt is still here and going strong at 97. The second is grateful that I can be a part of her life in helping ever so minutely as well as enjoying her company.

Same for my parents. I am blessed that my dad is here at 92 and that my mother (the third one and blessed Dad chooses great women) is here too and I enjoy their company. They are quite independent and find it hard to accept help though we are all ready to do whatever they want. Being 12 hrs away and unable to make daily visits, like my brother and the two of my three sisters (one is also a couple hours away) who live on the island, I try to call at least once a week. I delight when I can show my love for them through some act of service to be of help in some way.

Most recently I introduced them to my new favorite of crock-pot meals. I brought up a small crock-pot for our cottage which turned out to be just the right size for them. Immediately it was decided we would trade and I got their bigger crock-pot for the cottage and they kept the smaller one. Great fun and a good trade all around it seems.

The delight for me is more than a simple trade of crock-pots. The joy was mine by being able to offer something to make life easier for them.  It made me happy.  I love and respect my parents so much that I believe that I am called as their child to remember them daily in some way or another.  That may be only in my prayers some days!  Along with calls and gifts at Christmas and birthdays (which of course are always sent ), I send the occasional ‘just because’ gift of a movie or a book. These things are done out of love and respect and leave me with feelings of happiness. Being other-centered and giving and doing for them leaves me very satisfied and maybe that is selfish! There is perhaps also the hope that one day my children may love and respect me enough to show me the same kindnesses.

I think I was taught and shown RESPECT at an early age though my parents. I believe I am trying to live a life of respect and love through my choice to live an other-centered life. Why do I live this way? Perhaps the odd thing is that giving to others brings much back to me in happiness. So the question again is am I truly other-centered or in giving and loving the happiness I receive am I being self-centered? Food for thought!!!

So how about you – a question of the day – do you put others before yourself or put yourself first? Realizing of course that there are times, as the airlines tell us when we fly that we need to hook ourselves up first to oxygen, when we have to go first. As a general rule do you enjoy doing for others? Do you care for babies, teens or parents? Other-centered? Self-centered? Questions of the ages. I think I have written about this more than once as well!!! Still pondering it seems…………….





Sometimes we get tagged with labels.  I have a great disdain for labels by the way.  A label does not allow for change.  Once you are pinned it appears that this is who you are for the rest of your life.  This label can last from childhood.  Occasionally we live up to the same label.  Occasionally and hopefully for most, we all grow up and out of those paradigms.

I know (perhaps I will soften that with I believe) that I have the persona in the world.  I believe people see me and think that I am a take charge, get it done formidable kind of person.  I have heard the words barracuda, bulldozer and non-caring used in association with how I might get things done.  I cannot change that perception.  It is the reality of those who hold it.

Another label that I believe I wear, and may be equally in force,  is that of a cheerleader.  I was a cheerleader from the time I was in 7th grade until I graduated from High School.  That was when I actually was limber and could move and jump around doing one terrific cartwheel after another!  Now I still am a cheerleader even with the aches and constraints of aging joints.  Hopefully that is the perception and reality of the many that I encourage.   

Cheerleading can be a part of parenting as well.  I cannot count the times I have encouraged my children to “look it up”; “Check it out”; “give it a try”;”help your friend”;”give this a read” and so forth over the years.  Now I am doing the same with our grandchildren.  The books we buy are full of information.  Books to draw creatively.  Books to expand your horizons and give this world a try.  It is the best world we have found!!!

Last week I adorned this mantel yet again.  I think that after our last class reunion I said I would not get involved and let someone else take a turn.  As I am starting to write things on our 2015 calendar I realize that this is a big year for us.  Not wanting it to pass unnoticed I sent out an email to our classmates to get the ball rolling.  GO PHS CLASS OF 19XX!  The good thing is that many are in agreement with having a reunion.

This morning I had another opportunity, unsolicited of course through social media, to once again become the perpetual cheerleader.  A young cousin of mine is paving her own path.  She is graduating from high school this year at age 16.  I cannot comprehend that in my soul.  I was not ready at 16.  Many are not.  The flip side of that statement is that many are and are held back by a system that thinks they know more than parents.  While the system has changed I do not believe that there ever was a time when parents had less control over what happened in schools than now.  This is quite a step for this young person.

This morning on facebook she shared the college she is going to attend in the fall and the course of study of which she is about to pursue.  I read all the congrats from her friends and sat there in awe of the step this young woman is taking.  Of course being the ever encouraging cheerleader it seemed important to add some words of encouragement.  I love Robert Frost and this young lady certainly is choosing “The Road Not Taken”. 

I wrote”….since I was in the fourth grade I wanted to be a teacher.  In high school I changed my mind a couple of times and still went to a teachers school.  I quit twice as it was not what I wanted.  I wanted to be out ‘in the world’ and I wanted to be married and a mother.  I was berated for my choices when I voiced them.  “Is that all you want.”  The problem was I had not met the man (or any man I liked enough) I was to marry.  Whether you believe there is one path for everyone or multiple paths there are a couple of things that are necessary to move forward.  Choice and support. Blessedly you have both of those.  Scripture says:”And  now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Keep the faith, live in hope and know you are loved.   In the end as a wife, mother and volunteer I think teaching simply was part of who I am. Good for you and “go make YOURSELF proud” as your great uncle always told me!!! Congratulations to you Younger…..well done!!!”

After I wrote that I thought I must keep it as a blog.  I loved my own turn of the phrase.  I find it good advice for anyone and especially myself on a down day.  “Keep the faith, live in hope and know you are loved.”  

I may stencil that on a wall somewhere!  Have I done a blog on stenciling yet??





I was all excited to begin my Lenten season once I happened upon the idea of quiet time with a cup of tea and reflection.  When the time was over, I had consumed one cup from the two cup pot and I was in tears.  I am not so sure this is the result for which I was reaching. 

In the meantime it seems I may not be ready to spend time alone in contemplation.  The book I had taken with me to peruse for inspiration is “One Thousand Gifts”.  I bought it along with the DVD and workbook to take the 5 week course over Lent.  See I was planning ahead.  I even bought a CD of the Rosary thinking I might do that daily.  The thing I have shown myself on day one of Lent is that I am certainly a planner – follow through is totally lacking.  Can feelings of failure be far behind?

The book ‘1000 Gifts’ is a great read so far.  Challenging.  I did not really get into that as I was stuck on tea.  Teas that I had given participated in and missed. I remembered my great Aunt’s Tea House that she ran in the summers.  I remember going there with my mother.  The tea house is long gone.  My mother is as well.   Those teas are no more.

I was lost in thought of all the “First Day of School Teas”  I had for our children as they tumbled in from the bus filled with stories of who their teacher was and who was in their class and the latest from the playground.   Those are no more.

After supper in the evenings when the kids were little my husband and I would have a cup of tea and talk.  The kids were told there was an imaginary circle around the table and they could not come in until we were done.  This was a time to catch up and slow down from the day and transition to the next chores of bath, stories and bed.  Those are no more

In my reflection I was sitting in a kitchen not far from the shore with a cup of tea on an old metal table with a gray and yellow top.  The table that years ago on TV they would advertise for sale by showing you that you could light a fire on and it would not harm it!  Many a cup of tea I had there with Auntie and we shared stories and intimate details of our lives I am betting she shared with no other.   We laughed and cried and visited.   She’s now gone.  Those are no more.

I was thinking of the many teas we had on Fridays.  That ‘tea’ usually had an alcohol content on the package on those days.  We used to call it tea as many of those gathered were teachers and we could ask if we saw them at school would we see them for tea on Friday?  Laughter that led to suppers that led to Trivial Pursuit to end the work week with fun.   The numbers could have been 2 or 4 or even up towards a dozen adults and kids.   Those are no more.

I have to admit all this led me to wonder what Jesus was thinking on His first day in the wilderness.  He knew the end of his journey.

As I sat with my cup of tea and tried to focus on my 1000 gifts I was being distracted by tea thoughts.  I was reminded of tea and popovers that another of my dad’s sisters took us to in the summers on occasion.  Those are still available and I can go on my own in the summers when I am in Maine!  

And there it is…HOPE.  I was reminded that my word of the year is HOPE.  I heard it from many places in January so assumed I was to adopt it for the next twelve months.  I am not so sure my Lent has gotten off to a great start.  My penance for this day seems to be mourning what is gone.  I can only HOPE that it goes up hill from here.

I am still going to try “tea thoughts” each afternoon.  I have decided that for Lent this year, along with observing the no meat Fridays, it would be simpler to write what I am grateful for each day at the end of the day in a journal as I had done a few years ago.  Finding something of which to be grateful for may be enough challenge in and of itself some days.




My world is in great shape this last Monday of 2013.  I am up and busy early this morning.  I have three grandchildren still asleep upstairs.  Or quietly playing video games as they are not down for breakfast yet.  We have today planned and it is full of fun.  Legos and Tacos – quite a combination.  Tomorrow we are going to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style.  Our menu will be appetizers and sparkling grape juice.   Most anything goes at Grandmama’s house!!!

I have decided not to focus on looking back.  The TV shows will be doing that enough.  I am certain there will be retrospectives of all the good and bad of the year with respect to Politics, Entertainment – though I am not so sure those are two different categories this year – Sports, News, Weather, Financial reports, Deaths, Milestones  and all the trivia and minutia you care to review.  I am looking forward.

I found this little jar on facebook that someone had shared.  It was a jar like a Mason Jar or canning jar.   On it was a simple bow and a piece of paper taped to it.  The words below were written on the paper.













TO YOU IN 2014!!!

I thought this an amazing idea and am going to try it for myself this next year.  In fact tomorrow night I am going to gift each of our grandchildren with their own jars.  My intent is to attach a pencil and note pad somehow so they will not have to look around for either when they want to put a note in their jar.  

For this year I think when we have our appetizers and juice as we watch the ball drop we will simply talk about all the good things that have happened to us this past year.  I am anxious to see if they all can stay up till 12!  If we have enough movies and games bet they will.

I am hearing rumblings above so my day is about to begin for real!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL……………..early!!!




I had hoped to post more this month and hope and action simply did not meet – at least for blogging.  I managed to get my Christmas shopping done.  The packages got mailed and our sock project was once again completed this year.  Look at it – three things.  It hit me late last night as I was preparing the third of a real surprise for this Christmas how many things come in threes.

The surprise that arrived last night and completed three surprises for the season cannot be discussed until tomorrow as it is being handled as a gift.  It was the kindest most generous gift and the best thing is the giver has no idea what a gift he gave.  The other two surprises were ornaments.  They are doing double duty as they are combined with a third ornament I had no idea I would receive.  Again the story of three.

The first of the three ornaments arrived and brought me to tears.  It was in a small package and wrapped in a plain brown paper bag folded.  The outside said to share with another sibling next year.  I had no idea what was in it and since it was not sealed I believed the intent was that I open it right away.  I did.  All of a sudden tears welled up and spilled out of my eyes.  I could not believe what was in my hands.  It was a Rudolph ornament.  At this point the reader is saying -‘ yes, so what it is Christmas so what is the big deal?’ 

The ornament in my hands was over 50-60 years old.  It was THE Rudolph from my childhood tree.  I S__1540remembered the note to share it next year and thought what a wonderful thing my younger sister had started.  Tears rolled down my eyes as I shared the story of how the two of us would argue every Christmas as to whose turn it was to put Rudolph on the tree.   When I left home I bought a Rudolph for my own tree.  It never was as cute as this one.  Though our youngest grandson asked when told the story, “Where are his spots?” and left unimpressed.

This morning I was reminded in a conversation with the same sister that as children we did not buy new ornaments.  What were on the tree each year were carefully packed away.   I had not even thought of it until now really.  We rarely if ever got a new ornament for our tree as kids.  For our children I bought a new ornament every year and when they married I packed them up and gave them to them for their trees.  Interesting memory and the packing away carefully as a kid must be why I save boxes and rebox every ornament every year.  Painstaking yet I remember the glass ball that would break on occasion and how sad Mumma was at those times.

S__1540 (1)The second of the three ornaments was from our #2 daughter.  She remembered that we sing “Happy Birthday” every Christmas morning to baby Jesus and then put him in the manger and celebrate His birthday by opening our gifts.  The ornament is a Hallmark Cupcake that says ‘Happy Birthday Jesus’ on it and when you push the button it plays the song.  Tears again of course and joy.  When we had early Christmas on Saturday morning the grandson in residence put the baby in the manger as the cupcake played.  A real addition to our Christmas.

The third ornament was opened this morning.  In the same conversation with my sister she asked if I liked the ornament.  I said I did not know it was under the tree.  She told me the words ‘open before Dec 25th’ were on it.  So as we were chatting I went to the tree and retrieved it and opened it to find Linus beside Charlie Browns Christmas Tree.  When you push the button he speaks the piece that he does in the TV show.  S__9541

“And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

It is wonderful.

So the gift of three this Christmas – The Three Ornaments.  Christmas ornaments 2013The Three Wiseman.  The Father, SON and Holy Spirit and for us three beautiful Grandchildren who we will see over the course of this holiday season.  We are blessed.

As we celebrate the birth of our beloved Savior who brought hope and light to the world let us all share the hope and light and love in our hearts.  See Three again…..threes in your life?

May God Bless you Everyone.  From our home to yours, Merry Christmas 2013.

…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…Christmas tree 2013







Over 45 years ago when I met my husband I was not thinking of living with him.  I was falling in love with a guy who was attending a college of technology and planning on a career as an engineer.  I also was not looking at myself as an artist.  I was simply a girl who had shred any idea of college and enjoyed working in an office as I looked for my life mate.  I wonder what my life would have been like had I had the insights that I have today?  Probably not much different as we have to live and grow up and grow together to make a marriage work.  It is an ongoing learning experience.

Yesterday as I was working on the later list in the real now of the day it came to me again how different we are.  Not only we as in this household more the we as in our world.  What flavor and spice the differences add if you can look at them through a lens of love and joy and not hate or division.  This being the season of love and joy I will not focus on the latter.

The differences that add joy to our lives are simple.  It can be seen in our clothing.  I choose casual and relaxed and others choose tailored with distinct lines and others choose  a preppy look or a bohemian look.  Our demeanor shows this as well.  I walk through a mall with my head up and looking forward and observing all around me.  Others are walking through with purses held tight and head down plodding from place to place.  Are we open to what is before us or closed up?  I choose to focus on goodness and truth and others deal in lies and division.  Differences add spice and spice adds flavor and flavor makes for a wonderful life.

The differences in the artist and engineer came slowly.  Little things like budgets created interesting takes from each.   The engineer looked at the little picture of nickels and dimes and savings and the artist focused on the colors of life and what the monies could do to bring joy.  The engineer looked at the structure of a home and the artist wanted to color it.  This created a life that was occasionally loud!

The artist and the engineer are still alive and well and living in this house this season.  The artist decorates the engineer provides the power for a real division of labor.  There are a few cute stories that have already occurred that highlight how loving this can be despite the differences.

Yesterday as I was working on the later list in the now of the day the engineer happened to be home preparing for a business trip.  He had a few moments and helped me with the bed skirt for our bed.  It was time – later – to put on the Christmas bed linens.  The artist had always wanted, and now has accumulated,  bedspreads in a Christmas pattern for all the beds.  These are on for the 6 weeks (+) of the Christmas season.  The engineer has on occasion bemoaned the sense of this.

The engineer held the king-sized mattress up as the artist pulled and tugged and got the bed skirt on the box springs so the mattress could hold it in place.  THEN he even helped me make the bed.  The engineer no longer puffs and spouts about the uselessness of this effort.  He knows it colors our lives and in some incidences I believe enjoys and appreciates the color.  To the artists credit she found real love in the actions of help from the engineer.  Simple tiny acts of love can move huge mountains and make even the hardest heart melt.

The best and my most favorite incident of this season is the table runner.  From Thanksgiving to Epiphany our tables are covered with table runners appropriate to the season that the artist quilted.   To enhance the decorative effect of them the artist places them and puts a plant or candles on them.  To further add interest the artist will fluff the edges so that the runner does not sit flat – rather it has the look of being casually  tossed on  the table.   Each time the artist replaces it after a meal it is set thusly and maybe even on an angle.

Mornings or later in the day the table runner is flat on the table.  A smile comes across the artist’s face as she knows who has changed it and why.  The runner has been perceived as messy and needs straightening out so the edges are unfolded and flattened and it is square on the table.   She leaves it that way with love and joy and acceptance in her heart.

Isn’t this is the real meaning of Christmas.  Loving each other and appreciating our differences with love acceptance and joy?




After I wrote yesterday I decided to grab the moment and work in the now.  I did all the things I had on my list for the day plus a few extras.  I finally arranged all the Christmas decorations that I had unpacked and left sitting for ‘later’.  I fixed a coat for my husband that I had been meaning to get to for months.  I went through some of the magazines that are piling up.  I made a nice dinner and even took the time to Windex all the counters down after I cleaned up the dishes.  Not something I usually do with apologies to Pat who showed me otherwise!!!  The result of all of this is that when I shut the light off to go to bed last night the downstairs was in fairly decent order.

The second result of all of the effort yesterday was felt this morning when I came down the stairs and at the landing watched the snow for a bit.  I further descended into the kitchen to see cleanliness and order and was filled with a sense of peace.  This was only broken by the pile that still exists by the phone (for later) and the Office that is the bane of my existence.  The overall feeling however was peaceful and amazingly energized to do more today.   In the peace was a sense of well being and a desire to write even more.

Is this what happens when we remain current?  If the later is in the now then nothing is put off.  Is this what it means not to be burdened as we have crossed off our to do list and can move on to fun?  Is this the peace that allows us to explore our creativity? Must be as writing is utmost in my mind right now.

For me writing is a connection to my thoughts as I explore my world or topic and anyone who cares to read my posts.  Sure I would like to be published one day and actually receive benefit from that.  It may yet come.  My life is far from over especially since I plan on living to 124.  Am I someone now or will I be someone when I publish?  Kind of the later and now question with a different twist.

I received an email yesterday from our son.  He simply said in the subject line “I am somebody now.”  The body of the email had a link to his book for sale on Amazon.  I will share it as well in hopes of selling more books.


So here is the now/later twist.  Was he not somebody in the now and not now just somebody as in the later he is published?  Got to say I am a wee bit jealous.  He spent the time the energy and the effort to put together this book.  I am told I cannot read it as it is “absolutely offensive”.  This does not stop me from ordering it or promoting it.

An aside – my dad tells the story of “words in the workshop” from when he was a young boy.  It seems he and my grandfather spent a lot of time in Grumpa’s workshop building boat and traps and wood things.  They would talk and swear and enjoy each other.  It seems one day my father said one of those swear words in front of his mother and three sisters.  All of a sudden he had a whack across his face and was astounded.  It seems he had forgotten that what is said in the workshop stays in the workshop and is not for the ears of the rest of his feminine family.

A second aside – my maternal grandmother would say – “I heard the cutest story…” and then proceed to tell the most off color joke.  You were not sure if you should laugh or cry and certainly your face was red from embarrassment.

So our son has taken this a wee bit farther in publishing “workshop words” and “off color stories”.  There are those that will laugh and enjoy it.  There are those like me who will applaud the effort, buy it and share the accomplishment without a need to read.

I believe our son and our two daughters – I can only take credit for birthing one of these as the other came from another mother to our hearts and family.  I believe these three people are ‘somebodys’ simply by their being.  I believe that ‘good, bad or indifferent’ they are a gift to us and a blessing for the world.  They each in their own ways gift the world with blessings.  Our son, the author, now deals in humor.  Our daughter,  the cosmetologist by education now is making the world a prettier place by sharing her education and teaching others the art of hairstyle and make up.  Our daughter, the nurse, is sharing her skills by helping college students when they are ill.  They are somebody to us and hopefully others see the goodness of these three people as well.

I am ever amazed at where I go when I start to write each day.  This was going to be about a clean house and my efforts to live in the now and finish the upstairs so that I could really relax and enjoy the holidays.  Turns out I needed to tell my kids that I love them NOW not later.  It matters not what they do.  It only matters that they continue to live their best life…..even when they may contradict all we say like the cosmetologist teacher who would never allow me mother-daughter clothes and NOW is wearing mother-daughter with her 11 yr old lady!!!  Oh yeah life goes on………….as they live their best life now through humor, teaching and helping.

I love you three ‘somebodys’ !!!



SMALL WORLD – yet again


This day I am struck by the smallness of our world.  This may be construed as a continuation of the butterfly effect I have mentioned often.  As recently as last week.

It is a Monday and the promised rain has not appeared.  I did however decide to take this day ‘off’.  For me that consists of doing what I want and not what I have to do.  The simple fact becomes that what I want often coincides with the have to dos so the day off becomes very muddy.  The only ‘off’ part is that I do not live with any self imposed pressure of have to get it done now!

Today I really should be creating 3 reports and accounting for a couple of projects just completed.  The ‘off’ part is that I may not do any of those reports until tomorrow.  Scarlett O’Hara and I are very close.  In fact have a doll of her in her green curtain dress (still in the packaging to alleviate dust) as a reminder that we can ‘think about that tomorrow’!

This morning I spent more time than normal for a Monday perusing the internet and facebook.  I added a facebook friend which was particularly rewarding as so many of mine leave rather than read any information that may not agree with their world view.  In adding this new friend I did send them a private message warning of my propensity to be opinionated.  I think this will not surprise them at all.

I came across a post by a facebook friend and it really struck the small world key.  Follow this if you can.  It really is interesting and shows just what a small world and butterflies have in common.  Both reach out and touch us all in some way.

{An aside – I think this is why I liked the short lived TV show “Touch” so much.  It showed us that we are all interconnected in some way or another}

Here we go………

I thought it was really unique that  I met my husband who lived in upstate NY at my pen pal’s, that I met via a magazine column, wedding.  The following is even more involved.

I grew up in Southwest Harbor Maine.  My Dad had three sisters.  His sister Pauline married Uncle Archie.  They had three children Les, Molly and Carol.  Carol married a local boy named Glenn.  Glenn is the son of Irene who was in a family of seven girls and one boy.  Most stayed around Southwest or within an hour or so.  The brother, the oldest Ralph, became quite a famous wooden boat builder in our town.  He even met a President and is a whole other post!

So we have me – to Daddy – to his sister Pauline – to her youngest daughter Carol – to her husband Glenn – to his mother Irene who had a sister Nancy who married and moved away from Maine to New York.

Nancy had a son named Tim who commented often on his cousin Glenn’s facebook page.  I commented often on some of Glenn’s posts as well.  Tim asked if I would be his friend on facebook.  I agreed.  We explored our connections to Glenn and I discovered that both Glenn and Tim’s mothers babysat for my sister and I when we were young kids.  That was small world.

Tim shared that he grew up in a small town in upstate New York that I had probably not heard of at all.  I asked him to share as in our early marriage we lived in upstate NY for three years.  He told me it was New Hartford.  Small world.  My husband lived there and he and my pen pal both graduated from New Hartford High School.  Small world again.

Today Tim shared that he was about to hit the NY Thruway to drive to visit his mom and it was windy.  I shared that I knew the thruway in the wind and it can be white knuckle driving.  I also said to tip his hat to 18 Hillside.

{Another aside: It spurred me to go to google and look at it to see what the house looks like today.  So often we can be disappointed.  I was not.  In fact I was impressed to see they took away the treacherous driveway apron that was so steep we sometimes could not get up it in winter!}

Tim and I chatted some more on facebook and he believe he delivered newspapers to my in-laws.  The years he was a newspaper boy I would have been there visiting on occasion and may have actually seen him!  Or taken the paper from him! Hear the butterfly wings flapping?

The small world goes from Maine and me to Dad to Aunt Pauline to her daughter Carol to Carol’s husband Glenn to his mother Irene to her sister Nancy moving to NY to her son Tim to my in-laws.  Really?

As I said last week “No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.”

Or as our son says, “It’s a small world but I wouldn’t want to paint it!”




This morning I am grateful for my life.  Last night I attended two lectures and a game night.  It was a wild time here at OCS.  The lectures could be determined by many to be from opposite strata of life yet they worked beautifully together for me.

The first was about Feng Shui.  Okay I can see all your eyes rolling right now.  Oh my she has stepped into the new age mindset and is lost to any reasonable facsimile of reality.  Feng Shui is really ‘out there’- wherever there is for you.

Feng Shui is in short form is the harmonizing of us with our surroundings.  The Chinese made it an art.  Many today poo poo it as new age and thus ridiculous in its essence.  I on the other hand choose to have an open mind until I can make up my own decision about if it works or not.  I know for myself that there are areas in my home that I really enjoy and usually sit in them and experience peace and tranquility.  The Chinese said we can do this in a structured way so that all around you elicits these warm comfortable feelings all the time.  Who would not want comfort in their home?  I certainly do.  I was fascinated by this talk and am afraid I may have to move our bed when I get home for maximum comfort.  I will measure for certainty as I am certain of two things – the bed is large and I will receive resistance!  Hopefully once I clearly can see the room and measure all will remain calm.  Which is the goal.

The next lecture was entitled ‘Practicing the Power of Gratitude’.  Now I have been trying to live a more positive life for a long time.  I try to focus on the good and not the bad.  Pollyanna comes to mind and while I may not be exactly that I know some of my blogs have come across with the tone of the ‘happy happy joy joy’ of the cartoon.

The lecturer was Jerry Posner and a man I have not ever met.  He was warm and funny and welcoming and I was grateful for his delivery and message.  It is simple – live in Gratitude.  Be grateful for all you have.  During the lecture he mentioned red lights in traffic.  Long have my children plagued me as I say “Thank you Lord’ when I hit a green light and really needed it.  They said ‘God does not care about green lights.’  My contention is that God cares about me so that if I need a green light and He can help then he does!!!  I live in the world that I am only in control of what is before me at the minute and that God controls all else.

After the wonderful day I had here at OCS with my massage and dinner and friendship and the first evening lecture I was indeed grateful and believed I had my priorities in order.  When Mr. Posner asked if we ever wrote how grateful we were for someone I raised my hand.  I was surprised when he called on me and I shared that every day I tell my husband what I see in him for which I am grateful.  Mr. Posner asked me how long I had been doing that.  I answered, “For 25 years.”  At that point he stopped and looked and said, “Please tell the people that we have never met and that you are not my shill.”  Easy answer I was not.  I was not being boastful.  I was simply at one with myself and my world and grateful to share.

The evening ended with a game of Bingo that I have not ever played except with our grandchildren.  I won a prize!  I was very surprised.  Evidently my reactions showed that.  Someone in the audience said casually, ‘she looks like she never won anything before.   Someone else asked the question as I was going up to turn in my card, ‘Have you ever won anything?”  My immediate response was “Only my husband.”  I heard murmurs of ‘how sweet’, ‘isn’t that nice’ and the like.  For me it was a spontaneous response from a woman who at that time was feeling very grounded in my being.  The prize was a delight as it was the Canyon Ranch Cookbook that I was planning to buy before I left.

I continually wage war with myself and my insecurities as to how much I deserve in life.  Did I do this correctly? Am I living up to this measurement or guideline, do I deserve a day off or buying this dress which I probably will not wear much?  How can I spend this when we are saving for that?  Why come here and why not go back to college for more learning?  Have I been good enough?  Have I given enough, served enough, forgiven enough?  While there is a great little story out in the cyber world about the word enough, it does not answer my thoughts this day.

Last night I was feeling so aligned in my soul – God, My Husband, My Family, My friends and all was well.  Why do we allow ourselves to let  our personal wars derail our energies from what is right?

Well, Dear Readers, that is our humanity I believe.  That is why prayer is my ‘go to’ for worry and stress.  That keeps me grounded and centered.  Now I can add harmony and gratitude to my ‘go to’ bag.  It all works together when we keep our focus on our higher power and for me that is God who had a son Jesus who blessedly runs* with me every day.  My job is to remember to go visit Him at least weekly at His house!!!

By the way – OCS is a term our son has coined – Overly Comfortable Spa!!!





I am certain that by now anyone who has read my blog knows that I am a ‘daddy’s girl’.  Actually kind of had to be as my mother and first step-mother died each only staying around for about 13 years or so.  Dad is the constant in my life.  His belief in marriage, as he keeps marrying (and Millie, a really lovely lady, has put up with Dad for the last 37 years), his faith, his humor, his bias, his politics, his tenacity have all been the constant that molded me over the course of my lifetime.  I admire this man and occasionally do not agree with him though approach disagreement carefully.  He turned 92 on Sunday and is now the ‘poster child’ for the local health and fitness center in my home town as they have him on a brochure using the recumbent bicycle.Mr Harbor House 2013

When I am in residence at the cottage he comes for coffee as often as his schedule allows.  Some days I get a two-fer when I get Millie as well.  On Wednesdays I get a different two-fer as my brother is driving.  In a way returning all the times Dad drove him as a kid.  The circle of life complete once again.

It is Wednesday and my Dad and brother have just left for the rest of their ride.  They will go around Seawall, go up to Somesville and get another coffee for Dad, stop at the local florist for some flowers – “The Leslie Special” for Millie – and then home.  My brother is a wonderful man and I marvel that a spoiled rotten kid who was hell on wheels could turn out so good! Then again he had the same constant as I.

I watched Dad walk out of here grasping for something to hold onto and stubbornly not reaching for my brother’s arm which is subtly ever at the ready.  He is bent with the pain he suffers in his back and uses one wrist crutch.  He had to stop playing golf at 90 as he could no longer swing with the back pain. I look at him and often wonder if the pain in his back that creates the ‘bentness’ of his body is not a gift from God like Paul’s thorn in his side.  This pain keeps Dad going to find a way out.  He exercises at Harbor House a couple of times a week.  He goes to Physical Therapy.  He has tenacity spelled s-t-u-b-b-o-r-n.  In this case I think stubborn is good.

I am accused of being stubborn and from the tone in which it is said it is not a good thing in my case.  I am going to look at this word in a new way.  Perhaps the word is not stubborn,  Perhaps a better word for Dad is determined?  Determined to live the best life he can with dignity.  Hmmmmm – I am going to mull this for some time to come I believe.  Dad’s life was not lily white – he smoked, he drank, he was overweight at times.  He said to me yesterday that he was the last of crew with the exception of 4 of his army buddies.  I wonder what that feels like?  He also said to me yesterday that he was sung to by some angels in front of him.  The children of Harbor House sang Happy Birthday to him.  He smiles with joy often.kids singing to dad

The more I write and think about tenacity, stubborn, determined, I think that perseverance may just be the right word.  Though it has to be couched with the words faith and humor.  It certainly has worked for Dad.  Maybe I will try this for myself?  I certainly have much to think about as I go about this day.



By ktsquared Posted in Family



It is opening day.  The bus is off to pick up the last camper.  It will be a fun ride up for 2 hours and assuredly a noisy ride back for the same two hours which will probably feel like 20!!!

The cords are all ready for the car so no charges are lost in the electronics.  Oh how did we ever take trips before the invention of game boys and iPods and 3DS?  I had thought I might wax eloquently about the ‘good old times’ of travel and then really remember that they were really just long trips looking out the windows interspersed with the occasional license plate game or nap.

This year all of the campers are older and I am encouraging input into the planning.  The ideas last year when we tried this minimally for the first time was terrific.  This year I am hoping for the same.  We have a few days already planned.

We will begin tomorrow with the good old “Friendly Friday” which is a movie with supper at Friendlys after the show.  The bill of fare has been chosen so we will all be seeing “Grown Ups 2”.  It is a PG13 and hoping the ire of the parents is not too much.  I saw “Grown Ups” and actually we will be watching it again tonight as a prequel!

Not sure what the rest of the week will bring.  That will be decided today at the planning session.  We already have the TShirts for the yearly picture and the dye so I am thinking we will be having a ‘Tie-dye Tuesday’ for sure.  We will be chatting about all of this up and back to Nazareth I am certain.

Let GRANDCAMP begin!!!




Today I am in prayer all day long for a friend of mine.  I got a message a week or so ago from his wife that she was anxious to talk to me.  Give her a call as they are home for a couple of days.  This beautiful couple has been part of our hearts and family since 1997.  She was the first one to appear at our door as we moved into our home in Ballwin, Missouri.  She had a flower and a box of chocolates.  Friends for life for that alone.

They soon endeared themselves to us and hopefully we to them.  The message simply said she had wanted to talk.  I thought I cannot wait to chat it had been too long.  Then we had to go to Maine and to RochesterNY and to NazarethPA and clean and pack and unpack and I did not call.

I got an email from mutual friends yesterday saying that the husband was going in for a heart cath today.  On Tuesday he is having a 5-6 hour open heart surgery to repair a badly damaged mitral valve.  It is elective at this point.  The doctors say he is in great health and this is a good time to do it before he gets any of the classic symptoms and it is a dire situation.  His wife is a nurse so he will have the best of care.  Who knew?  To see this man he is the picture of health.  He is thin, exercises by playing tennis regularly and is energy personified.  You never do know!

So today I am in prayer for them both.  I cannot imagine one without the other.  It would be like salt without pepper or a yin without a yang.  So I am praying for the surgeons, the nurses, the staff to be guided in their skills by the loving hand of God that this procedure and subsequent surgery will be textbook – smooth and correct!

For me I am going to try to find their cell number to send a text.  I will not waste time nor energy in remorse for not calling.  I failed again and wallowing in it does no good.  Prayer is better!  Please Lord let out dear our St. Louis Don Quixote be soon be back to health to joust at more windmills with his beautiful Dulcinea!!!

Lesson learned AGAIN to not put off………….